Until the Harvest, by Sarah Loudin Thomas, opens in the Phillips’s home on New Year’s Eve, 1975. They reside in Wise, West Virginia where it doesn’t take long for news to travel. Henry Phillips is home from college for the holidays and he tries to convince his parents to let him pursue his musical interests when he returns to school. The conversation doesn’t go as he hoped and by the following morning a tragedy had struck. As a result, Henry takes the next semester off and struggles to adjust to his loss. Even though he is surrounded by a loving family, it doesn’t seem to be enough and he embarks on dangerous paths in an attempt to prove and find himself. Margaret Hoffman enters Henry’s life because she works for his grandmother. She is a young woman with no illusions and finds satisfaction in caring for Mayfair, her diabetic younger sister and in her work. Both girls don’t fit the image that their mother wishes to project. However, there is something very special about Mayfair that touches those around here in unexpected ways. The relationship between Margaret and Henry gets off to a rocky start, but when it develops into something better Henry is hit with shocking news. His and Margaret futures may be permanently changed.
This is a multilayered story with complex and believable characters. As past secrets are revealed, the characters examine their pasts and, in some cases, grow from what they learn. This a story about legacy, honesty and willingness to embrace personal growth no matter when it comes along. I found this to be a moving and well told story.
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers and I give this review of my own free will.